Sustainable UNSW Science

UNSW Science is developing initiatives and partnerships to support our science community to be more environmentally-friendly. UNSW Science is already a leader in research and innovations that protect our environment. We are now seeking to match this commitment to sustainability in the way we work, through advocacy, competitions, sustainable merchandise and through our actions.

Take a look at our recent sustainability news, activities and events.

For information or enquiries email: 


Return and Earn 

The Reverse Vending Machine on the UNSW Sydney campus provides a 10c refund on eligible recycled drinking containers. It has been relocated near the Old Main Building entrance, next to the Physics Lawn (K15). If you do dispose of your bottles and cans in your office bins, general waste on campus is collected and then sorted off-site for recyclables. UNSW Sydney diverts more than 90% of its general waste from landfill.

Staff Competition: Sustainability Tips

UNSW Science asked our staff to share what actions they take to be more environmentally sustainable on campus. We have shared some of their tips below:

  • “Carry around a bag to collect cans and bottles around campus, or while walking into campus. Then go recycle them at the Return and Earn behind Physics!” - Kim Lapere, School of Chemistry
  • “I use my own cup and metal straw if I’m getting a take away drink. I also order lab supplies in bulk to reduce plastic associated with postage” - Emily Wilson, School of Psychology & Moving Ahead Centre of Research Excellence in Brain Recovery
  • “You can bring your own bowl to Stock Market (Mathews Food Court) and they’ll prepare your salad and use your bowl, recycling the plastic lettuce container for another customer! 10/10 sustainability includes bringing your own fork!”- Lisa Williams, School of Psychology
  • "Wrap your (homemade) sandwiches in greaseproof paper, and pack in a (re-useable) paper bag" - Rena Friswell, School of Aviation.

To date, we have given out nearly 50 sustainability prize packs to our favourite responses.

Lunch Box Champions 

UNSW Science Lunch Box Champions photo competition called for staff and students to share photos of their favourite reusable lunch containers. We received some amazing lunch box, bees wax wrap and Tupperware photos!

Dr Jackie Chan from the Ramaciotti Centre for Genomics was awarded the 2018 Lunch Box Champion for her seven photo entries, displayed below.